Music & Performance


Inspired by popular melodies

Since the end of the 19th century and throughout the 20th century, classical music has incorporated tradition and popular melodies.

Brahms was inspired by the sailors' songs he heard in the cabarets of the port of Hamburg. Liszt sometimes used traditional Hungarian music as a starting point for his compositions. The revolution came thanks to the quasi-ethnological work of Bartok and Kodaly who undertook to record and archive all the traditional songs of their regions to incorporate them into their music.

FROM ONE CENTURY TO THE NEXT [1x53’] | [2x41’] | [1x38’]

The evolution of musical genres

The 20th and 21st centuries are characterized by the appearance of a profusion of musical genres such as jazz, then rock, electro or hip hop.

The great historical events, in particular the wars, as well as technological developments have contributed to the emergence of these genres and the so-called classical music has become even more distinct from popular music than before.

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The most recognizable forms of chamber music

This series of recordings explores the most recognizable forms of chamber music interpreted by the new generation of the best French performers.

First, the string quartet, an intellectual and emotional summit under the bows of the young Mona Quartet.

The trio (piano, violin and cello) embodied by the brilliant pianist and composer Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, the young and already famous violinist Sarah Nemtanu and their accomplice Grégoire Korniluk.

The duo, piano and violin, with the young Eva Zavaro who plays Brahms and Ravel accompanied by the pianist Tatiana Chern.

THE PATHS OF THE BAROQUE [1x55’] | [1x49’] | [1x41’] | [1x39’]

Torn between tradition and modernism

The rediscovery and interpretation of the Baroque repertoire (a musical genre that spans the 17th and first half of the 18th centuries) has been one of the most passionate and exciting debates of the past decades.

The movement began in the early 1950s with the advent of the LP and the creation of the Erato label and reached its peak in the 1970s with the heated debates between the proponents of the classical and symphonic tradition on the one hand and, on the other, the advocates of a return to the sources, to period instruments and tuning forks.


Looks and talent

Created in 1989, the resolutely modern image of the Artemis Quartet has made these good-looking musicians real stars of the classical world. Over the years, the quartet has concentrated on playing both the romantic repertoire and contemporary music with great subtlety and acute intelligence.

This concert was filmed at the prestigious Konzerthaus in Vienna where the quartet pays tribute to three of the most famous Slavic composers: Dvorak, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovitch.

A colorful performance covering many moods and played with incredible virtuosity.


A piano jazz legend

Brian Brown is a living legend of canadian jazz. He reached international recognition in the early 60’s alongside Errol Garner, Bill Evans and Marian McPartland.

A disciple of Oscar Peterson, he was also influenced by Bill Evans, Art Tatum and Ray Charles. He created his own style by combining blues and swing.

This private concert at Montreal’s renowned Upstairs club features classics played with impeccable swing by Brown, bassist Michael Donato and drummer Al bourgeois.


A passion for dance

After Helsinki and Stockholm, the great American choreographer Carolyn Carlson chose to live and work in Northern France. There she manages the National Dance Studio of Roubaix while pursuing her creative body of work celebrated all over the world.

This film is a very personal and in-depth portrait of an outstanding world-class artist as well as a riveting look at choreography.


Osaka’s hottest comedians take the stage

The hottest duo from the Yoshimoto Comical Theater, Miki, has their first namesake program.

Every week, four young Osaka comedians, from young established comics to fresh new faces, are selected to perform their latest material.


The music of frustration

The Prague Philharmonia brings us an extremely original concert. By their juxtaposition, the works by Malher, Martinu and Wranitzky weave a tale of regret. Every listener can identify with the frustration of its protagonists.

The Mahler's lieder portrays a disillusioned German romantic hero while Martinu was unable to join the Czechoslovakian army and never recovered from the trauma of being declared too old to fight and forced to remain forever in exile from his native land.

More vibrant than ever, the Prague Philharmonic Choir brings a silver lining to the clouds that hang over the destinies of these heroes.


The viola maestro

Winner of the Avery-Fischer Prize, twice nominated at the Grammy Awards in the “Best Performance with an Orchestra” category and already a faculty member at UCLA, Richard O’Neill remains the one and only viola player to have received an Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School in New York.

Peter Asimov, a talented pianist barely 23 years old, joins him for this exhilarating recital.

They perform Schumann’s Märchenbilder with incomparable sweetness before returning to their roots with a more contemporary piece by Carter. Finally, to close the recital, they tackle a Schubert sonata with astonishing energy.


Beethoven and Prokofiev

This concert was filmed at the Vienna Musikverein during the European tour of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the most acclaimed symphony orchestra in Asia.

The programme includes two magnificent and popular works: Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Prokofiev’s Symphony No.5.

The star of the evening is Chinese virtuoso Ning Feng, who literally dazzles the audience. Time Out had this to say about one of his recent recitals: “It's nigh on impossible to overstate quite what a master Ning Feng already is… He had the audience enraptured as he redeployed his unique skills, danced and skipped with every lilting note and displayed an aptitude that was truly remarkable.”


A concert to commemorate 1914-1918

Surrounded by poppies in memory of the soldiers who fell in battle, Kit Armstrong and Ukrainian violinist Andrej Bielow revive the work of Great War composers.

The programme consists of pieces produced between 1914 and 1918: Claude Debussy’s last sonata written on his deathbed; Myths by Poland’s Karol Szymanowki and Gallipoli; a sonata by Frederick Kelly, an Anglo-Australian who died during the Battle of the Somme.

Kit Armstrong showcases a striking snapshot of the musical trends of those dark days. The war was a disaster that brought upheaval in its wake that even touched the music of the time. Deprived of familiar references, composers turned their back on the conventional heritage of the 19th century to rely on their feelings instead.


A creation mixing classical and Asian dance

On the stage of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, more than 40 artists perform the ballet MARCO POLO.

In telling the story of the famous explorer who discovered the splendor and power of the Chinese Empire, it provides intriguing insights into the source of the fascination China holds for the West and the West for China. The meeting between the Venetian adventurer and Kublai Khan is the stuff of legend and choreographer Luciano Cannito turns it into one of his greatest productions.

At the crossroads of classical and Asian dance, this work requires the performers to express their academic skills whilst simultaneously immersing themselves in body language that conjures up distant shores.


The private concert

Marianne Trudel, who has already released 6 albums, is a pianist, composer, improviser and arranger. Her music, inspired by french songs, brazilian rythm and contemporary jazz, bears testimony to her openess to the world. Energetic and passionate, she has a busy career as a performer either solo or with diverse formations.

This private concert, where she performs 10 of her original compositions, was filmed at the legendary Upstairs Club.


A gravity defying creation

Thai choreographer Jitti Chompee seeks a perfect balance in this gravity defying creation.

The performance is based on the life and achievements of Philippe Petit, the high-wire artist who, in 1994, walked the distance between the two towers of New York’s World Trade Center armed only with a balancing pole. The ballet focuses on Petit’s fearlessness and his ability to meet challenges and confront conventions.

The work is inspired by Jean Genet’s "The Tightrope Walker" and urges the performer to defy death itself.


Chinese voices of extraordinary purity

In the 20th century, Daniel-Lesur was recognized as a genius of religious music by modernising the ageless sacred genre with his most popular creation: "Le Cantique des Cantiques".

The French Renaissance was a golden age for choral music. Songs by Dufray and Bouzignac provided the entertainment of choice for knights and nobles and their beauty inspired Daniel-Lesur in his musical adaptation of the biblical Song of Songs.

This concert, filmed in Hong Kong, is an enchanting paradox with 25 singers paying tribute to the essence of sacred music. Their Chinese voices of extraordinary purity bring a new emotion to the most French of repertoires.


A child prodigy

In 2012, 13-year-old Kerson Leong stunned the jury of the Yehudi Menuhin competition in Oslo to the point where they wondered if he should have even been competing in the under-16 category. Since then, the rising young Canadian star has performed all over the world.

The pianist Wonny Song, who has performed with numerous orchestras, is accompanying him for his first Louvre recital.

A premiere not to be missed by any violin enthusiast.


The rising star of classical violin

At only 18, Stephen Waarts is the rising star of classical violin. Accompanied by Korea’s Chang-Yong Shin, winner of many prestigious awards, they present an ambitious programme.

The energy of Beethoven’s Violin Sonata contrasts with the sweetness of Higdon’s Nocturne. The duo then continues with the Hispanicised melodies of Carmen's Fantasy – Bizet revisited by Waxman. They end the recital with a great classic by Prokofiev.

Their first concert in France dazzles the Louvre Auditorium audience.


Passionate romanticism

The Montreal Symphony Orchestra has invited Sir Roger Norrington, the British conductor famous for his recordings using 18th and 19th century instruments as well as the dazzling German virtuoso Arabella Steinbacher, to perform Brahms violin concerto, a must from the classical repertoire.

The conductor has also chosen to highlight Schumann's first symphony, known as the “Spring”, an homage to the under-appreciated composer.


Gypsy jazz at its best

Sébastien Giniaux is one of the brightest stars of the new generation of the "gypsy jazz" school of guitarists inspired by Django Reinhardt. He has performed in over 45 countries with artists such as Stochelo Rosenberg, Biréli Lagrène, Taraf de Haidouks…

For his first concert in Canada, Sébastien Giniaux is the guest of the most famous local gyspy jazz guitarist, Denis Chang. A spectacular concert of true virtuosos.


A musical journey

Gregory Walker is a concert violinist who feels trapped in the classical music world by being forced to perform the big hits season after season. He sets out on a personal journey in search of inspiration.

He travels to Kerala, the picturesque state of South India, to meet new friends, renew old acquaintances, and learn the challenging melodic and rhythmic variations present in Indian music.


A dialogue between two masterpieces

Eight seasons: four from Vivaldi and four from Piazzolla. This concert takes us on a voyage spanning two centuries and two hemispheres.

One of the best-loved works in the classical repertoire, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons stands in sharp contrast to the urban, stilted atmosphere of Piazzolla’s compositions. Brought together in the same programme, the two works establish a sparkling dialogue. In Vivaldi’s piece, wailing wind and birdsong are represented figuratively while the Argentinian maestro focuses on the feelings and moods of the city, with tango to reflect the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires.

The Hong Kong Philharmonic accompanies the outstanding violin virtuoso Henning Kraggerud in this musical confrontation between two masterpieces.


The instruments of Holocaust victims

In this no ordinary concert, the great violinists Shlomo Mintz and Cihat Askin appear with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, playing instruments that belonged to Holocaust victims.

Often severely damaged, the violins were found in liberated death camps and deserted ghettos after the Second World War. Master violin-maker Amnon Weinstein has devoted his life restoring them. Now, almost 70 years later, they sing again in the hands of distinguished musicians.

A one of a kind concert with instruments reunited for the first time.


A magical moment

This concert is one of those exceptional moment when everything comes together in a somptuous and thrilling synergy: the power and precision of Kent Nagano, the highly Mozartian subtlety of Swedish soprano Miah Persson and the virtuosity of one of the world’s finest orchestras, all joined in a celebration of German romanticism.

This is the kind of event that leaves concertgoers transported and moved, their hearts filled with poetry and passion.


Virtuoso 2.0

The Internet introduced music lovers all over the world to Valentina Lisitsa’s talent. Some of the videos featuring the young Ukrainian pianist have achieved more than 8 million views on YouTube. Today, the world’s greatest venues are vying for the artist who enthrals her audiences and receives ovation after ovation.

On this occasion, the programme Valentina Lisitsa chooses is electrifying, made up of works by composers who were all brilliant pianists themselves. Across the centuries, the virtuoso confront her talent against theirs.

After this concert, when the face-off ended, the spectators came out bedazzled and exhausted for having applauded for so long.


Eternal fervour

Vincent Boucher is the new organ virtuoso. He has won an impressive and growing number of prizes and awards from Canada, his homecountry, and all over the world. He has played many truly outstanding organs such as those in Notre Dame de Paris along with others in Austria and the United Kingdom.

At the keyboards of the Oratoire Saint-Joseph de Mont-Royal – a spectacular building that could comfortably hold Notre Dame de Paris – Vincent Boucher performs a programme that covers three centuries of masterpieces for the organ.

The German instrument he plays is one of the world’s largest with a staggering 5,811 pipes.

WERTHER [125’]

An opera based on the novel by Goethe

Werther is an opera by Jules Massenet based on Goethe's epistolary novel "The Sorrows of Young Werther".


A lasting fascination

Paths crossed. Patrons and clients were shared. A possible meeting in Vienna in the spring of 1787 took place. Music historians are consistently finding Beethoven in the wake of Mozart and vice versa.

In this film, Kit Armstrong and Ukrainian violinist Andrej Bielow revive Beethoven’s exuberant, delicate variations on Mozart’s “Se Vuol Ballare”, a little-known work that Beethoven composed in 1792.

An experience brimming with energy, brio and elegance.


A daring recital

The world’s finest orchestras sought to recruit Adam Walker. Finally, the young flautist joined the prestigious London Symphony Orchestra where his magical flute has been working its spell. This Royal Academy of Music alumnus is also quite fluent in contemporary music with regular performances.

Combining their talents in an extraordinary concert, Adam Walker and James Baillieu present a daring recital that combines poetry and virtuosity. Juxtaposed with the energy of Bartók’s dance, Schubert's piece provides a melodious contrast while Messiaen’s « Cinq Leçons de Solfège à Chanter » showcases the duo’s great brio. The programme ends on a lighter note with a Poulenc sonata.